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Piecing Together The 2016-17 Kings

After a 102 point season, it was a disappointing end to the KIngs' season when they were bumped off in the first round of the playoffs by the San Jose Sharks in 5 games. With limited cap space to make moves, general manager Dean Lombardi would need to get creative. Here's an attempt on creating a team for next year.

1. Buying out D Matt Greene and sending D Rob Scuderi down to the AHL

- A solid player for the Kings for a long time, his declining effectiveness and recent injury should spell the end of his tenure in Los Angeles Kings. Maybe the Kings might find a taker, but the worst case scenario would be buying him out. The Scuderi demotion is self-explanatory. He's just too old to be a contributor anymore.

2. Trades

a. Kings trade LW Tanner Pearson, C Nick Shore, rights to RFA Derek Forbort and draft considerations for LW Jonathan Drouin of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

- The Kings add more skill and a playmaker. In Drouin, the Kings add a speedy and creative left winger to their top-6 forward corps and power play. The Lightning get Pearson as a direct replacement for Drouin, Shore is the supplementary piece. He gives Tampa Bay a cheap bottom-6, two way forward who can drive the play. With the Lightning looking to trade Matthew Carle and Jason Garrison, handing over Derek Forbort 's rights would give them a ready-made replacement.

b. Kings trade LW Dwight King for C Jay McClement of the Carolina Hurricanes

- The Kings get a very good defensive center who wins his fair share of faceoffs (55.3% Win%), while Carolina gets a physical left winger in King to fill their middle six.

c. Kings trade LW Kyle Clifford for a 2017 5th round pick from the Nashville Predators

- A move to free up cap space, both short term and long term.

Note: Instead of having to move Dustin Brown and Marian Gaborik with assets to get their contracts off the books, it would be better if the Kings waited for the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft to lose their contracts.

3. Free Agents

Resignings

a. LW Milan Lucic: 5 years, $28.75 million (Cap Hit: $5.75 million)

b. D Luke Schenn: 2 years, $4.8 million (Cap Hit: $2.4 million)

c. RW/C Trevor Lewis: 3 years, $5.7 million (Cap Hit: $1.9 million)

d. D Brayden McNabb: 2 years, $1.7 million (Cap Hit: $850,000)

e. D Jamie McBain: 1 year, $700,000

f. C Nic Dowd: 1 year, $660,000

New Free Agent Signing: C/LW Darren Helm: 4 year, $9.6 million deal (Cap Hit: $2.4 million)

- Helm would be entrusted to hold down the 3C position, which was in a state of flux nearing the end of the 15-16 campaign. He possesses great speed, and is very solid defensively. Offensively, he's been consistent, he does a lot of his scoring at even strength.

2013-14: 42 games, 12 goals, 8 assists

2014-15: 75 games, 15 goals, 18 assists

2015-16: 77 games, 13 goals, 13 assists

His even strength P/60 comes in at 1.8,1.2,1.4 points an hour over the past three seasons. The 1.4 mark he posted this year, would have come in 6th among all Kings skaters who played at least 250 minutes of even strength time on the ice.

4. Lineups

Offense

1st Line: Milan Lucic, Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown

2nd Line: Jonathan Drouin, Jeff Carter, Tyler Toffoli

3rd Line: Michael Mersch, Darren Helm, Marian Gaborik

4th Line: Andy Andreoff, Jay McClement, Trevor Lewis

Extras: Nic Dowd, Jordan Nolan

Defense

1st Pair: Brayden McNabb, Drew Doughty

2nd Pair: Jake Muzzin, Luke Schenn

3rd Pair: Kevin Gravel, Alec Martinez

Extra: Jamie McBain

Goalies

Jonathan Quick

Peter Budaj

Power Play

1st Unit

Drew Doughty, Jake Muzzin, Jonathan Drouin, Anze Kopitar, Marian Gaborik

2nd Unit

Dustin Brown, Alec Martinez, Milan Lucic, Jeff Carter, Tyler Toffoli

Penalty Kill

Forwards (in terms of PK ice time)

Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Jay McClement, Darren Helm, Trevor Lewis, Jeff Carter, Tyler Toffoli

Defenseman

Drew Doughty, Jake Muzzin, Luke Schenn, Alec Martinez, Brayden McNabb, Kevin Gravel

The revamped front line has more speed and skill than the current crop of forwards. Not only will this help our 14th ranked offense, it also helps with our backchecking and overall team defense. We would be able to keep up with speedier teams in the league, while not losing the basis of our tough it out, grit and grind style of play. The depth of the team also significantly improves, which matches Darryl Sutter's mentality of rolling four lines. Gravel and Mersch received cameos during the 2015-16 season and received solid reviews. Many fans would be hoping to see them be contributors on next year's team.

This item was written by a member of this community and not by an author of JFTC.

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